THE BUREAU of Immigration (BI) on Monday said it expects passenger traffic to continue to increase up to New Year’s Eve as more Filipinos and foreign visitors arrive and leave.
“Usually during New Year’s, departures also increase since Filipinos who live abroad, especially our overseas Filipino Workers return to the countries they came from,” Immigration Spokesperson Dana Krizia M. Sandoval told a televised briefing.
“We see that the tourism and international travel sector is really on the rebound.”
Ms. Sandoval gave assurance that airports will have enough manpower to process arrivals despite the expected influx.
A total of 31,992 visitor arrivals at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) were processed on Dec. 24, the BI reported on Sunday.
The agency said NAIA Terminal 1 recorded 10,047 passenger arrivals, while Terminals 2 and 3 saw 4,646 and 12,615 arrivals, respectively.
A total of 22,248 departures were also processed on Christmas Eve.
No data on passenger movement was immediately available for other international airports in the country.
The BI earlier implemented an electronic gate system at the NAIA to fast-track the passport processing process.
The bureau also scrapped the arrival card requirement for returning Filipinos at airports to lessen processing time.
Last month, the Department of Tourism reported over two million visitor arrivals, which surpassed its projection of 1.7 million after the Philippines eased restrictions.
In the first nine months of 2022, tourist arrivals in the Asia-Pacific region were still 83% below pre-pandemic levels, the United Nations World Tourism Organization said in its November World Tourism Barometer report. — John Victor D. Ordoñez